When a person dies, his or her estate may need to go through probate. If the decedent leaves a will directing how his or her property should be distributed after death, the will must be submitted to the probate court so that it can be approved as a valid document. During this process, all of the parties that have the legal right to notice will be informed of this proceeding. This will give them a chance to accept or object to the approval of the will.
Probate will occur if an individual leaves an asset in his or her name alone. For example, if a bank account does not designate a beneficiary, or it is not jointly held, or it is not owned by a trust, then this asset must go through the probate estate of the deceased person.
There are various reasons why an individual would want to avoid probate, including time, money, and challenging family dynamics. Avoiding probate makes it easier for the Executor to manage the process and limits the opportunities for a will to be contested.
To ensure your estate planning goals are met, please make sure to contact your planning attorney. Contact Russo Law Group P.C. with questions or comments.